After yesterday's brief detour with Michael Rapaport, we return to our Bucks podcast mailbags today with discussions of free agency (is there much the Bucks can still do?), defense (how much can the Bucks improve?), and Michael Carter-Williams (are we fair to the Bucks' often-forgotten point guard?).
Episode #11: Bucks defense, veteran free agents and finding love for MCW
With Miles Plumlee, Thon Maker and Malcolm Brogdon yet to officially sign, the Bucks do have some flexibility to make another move in free agency -- just don't expect any big splashes. Until that trio signs, Milwaukee has just north of $5 million in available cap space to fill out its final two roster spots (one if you assume Steve Novak is back), and their options are not surprisingly limited by both the amount of money they have and the slim pickings that remain available. The more interesting question is whether anything happens with Greg Monroe, though we've also been saying that for about six months.
Perhaps even more interesting is the question of the Bucks' defense, which has to improve for the Bucks to begin realizing whatever dreams we might have for their future potential. As we discuss on the podcast, defending the three point line was clearly an issue last year -- the Bucks ranked bottom five in both opponent attempts and makes and middle of the pack in terms of opponent percentage -- but it was largely symptomatic of broader problems containing the ball. The Bucks' two-point defense actually declined more dramatically than their three-point defense (from 47.6% to 50.2%), and it's worth noting that they didn't lock down the three point line in their more impressive 14/15 campaign either. Add in their still-terrible defensive rebound rate and it's clear the Bucks have their work cut out for them this fall. They don't have to become great at everything, but they'll need clear improvement somewhere to get closer to where they want to be.